We had the chance to sit down with developers Ben Ruiz and Matthew Wegner of local game development group Team Color Blind as they go into detail regarding the creation of their Aztec themed Beat em up, Aztez.
At the time of this interview the two man team were days away from taking a working vacation in order to brainstorm and design new features for Aztez. “ We’re going on a 10 week retreat to Mexico to focus on Aztez in a distraction free environment. The weekends will be beer and beaches, but the goal is to get away and think about it.”
“At its core it’s a beat em’ up,” explains designer and artist Ben Ruiz who added, “It’s kind of two games sewn together and the other game type is something else that people are familiar with, it’s a board game and a beat em up.”
Both Wegner and Ruiz have extensive experience developing games and have chosen to form this small team in order to focus in on a game that they hope will have a more lasting impact. “The team is us and a couple of friends helping with stuff like music. A basic breakdown is Ben is responsible for all the design and art and all the code is me,” explains Wegner and continued, “You can’t focus on creating the perfect code that’s going to last for 2 years you have to move fast enough to respond to ideas on the fly.”
“I take the approach of making a game you want to play,” explained Ruiz and went on to say, “ Beat em up is my favorite game genre ever I just think they’re super boring most of the time. I love the parts where you’re fighting and everything else sucks. We’re shooting for a Beat em up that is fun over and over again.” It appears that Ruiz and Wegner achieved their goal for combating game boredom as Ruiz explains further, “Here’s a beat em up that’s re-playable and interesting every time you play it, that doesn’t waste your time with cut scenes and quick time events, and all that stuff that you’ve come to think are necessary for these kinds of experiences,” said Ruiz about his hopes for the way in which gamers will perceive his work.
Ruiz offered some interesting insight as he discussed the evolution of the game in its ongoing development, “I’ve been obsessing about this game for four years. I don’t even know how I feel about it anymore. I know it excites me and I really enjoy doing it. Matthew summed it once for me it’s like a large stone you have to start pushing it to make it move forward.”
With their Mexico trip behind them, Team Color Blind has certainly made a lot of progress towards a completed product which they hope will breathe some new life into one of the most classic video game genres.